19 January 2016

It is crucial that Muslim women learn English as without it they and their daughters are kept captive

Rochdale has a large Muslim population, and I’m a Muslim woman.

Yet at the height of the general election campaign last year I visited the town and, as I walked around with the standing MP in predominantly Muslim areas, I saw no one like me.

There were many Muslim men – but no women out and about. It was as if they had been spirited away in a spaceship.

I went knocking on doors. The women were there, but they would not come out.

Many, I believe, felt they had to stay indoors unless they were accompanied by a male member of their family. And most spoke little English.

The Prime Minister has identified the right problem, but he’s blaming the wrong people. It isn’t the Muslim women who are the root of the problem, much less the British public.

The problem is the Muslim menfolk who are gradually stripping away all the rights of their wives and daughters. It is also the politicians who collude in that Islamic misogyny and the oppression of women.

Of course, as soon as Mr Cameron made his remarks, Muslim activists and some liberals were quick to dismiss them, implying that any criticism of British Muslim culture was tantamount to bigotry.

But the fact is we do have a crisis in the Muslim culture – and it is one that’s reflected in this fact that so many Muslim women, some of whom have lived here for decades, can’t speak English. [Mail on Sunday] Read more